Welcome to the Kitchen! Outside of pumpkin juice, butterbeer is the most iconic Wizarding World drink, and also the one most featured in the Wizarding World theme parks. In this series, I’ll be trying trying several non-official versions and rating them out of 5 jack-o-lanterns.
The rating scale:
🎃 – Nah
🎃🎃 – Ok but needs several improvements
🎃🎃🎃 – Good but needs some improvement
🎃🎃🎃🎃 – Great but could be better
🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃 – Love it, no changes needed
For this first post, I’ll be reviewing one hot and one cold butterbeer recipe as well as a Starbucks version.
Butterbeer #1: Light Cold butterbeer from Bixoux and Bits.
This is a light take on cold butterbeer using diet soda and cream. I modified the original recipe linked above to make a single serving, and made a few other tweaks as well.
Notes and Review: The result is visually appealing and light enough that I can imagine it as a frequent summer treat. I opted to mix the butterscotch syrup into the soda rather than using it as a drizzle as suggested, mostly because I felt the Zevia lacked color, and I was happy I did because it also added the key flavor I was looking for. As for the artificial butter flavor, it did have an unpleasant aftertaste so I’d like to find a replacement or try the drink without it. Overall, the drink was sweet but not sickly and it has the right look.
Verdict: I’d make this again, but I’d make adjustments to cover the astringent aftertaste of the butter flavor, or remove it altogether. I didn’t love it as-is but I did like it and it was easy to make.
Rating: 🎃 🎃 🎃
Butterbeer #2: Melissas Hot Butterbeer
Mugglenet was the source I used in my first attempt to create butterbeer, well before the theme parks were even planned, so I had to trust them again! I modified this recipe it a bit because I thought the butterscotch and butter quantities suggested would be too much for me, and I also modified it to use the stovetop instead of a microwave.
Notes and Review: This drink was DELICIOUS. I love the hot version and melting real butter into the drink was definitely the right choice compared to any artificial flavor or extract. I was glad I reduced the butterscotch and butter quantity though- I felt that my sweet tooth was satisfied, but not overwhelmed. The flavors were just right for me and from what I remember this is a lot like hot butterbeer in the parks. If you’re wondering what happens when this gets cold, the butter did separate a bit but I think you could easily throw it in the blender for a frothy cold version.
Verdict: Would definitely make again in the same way.
Rating: 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃 🎃
Butterbeer #3: Starbucks Butterbeer (not the version from secret menu)
I think we’ve all seen that one Starbucks butterbeer “hack.” It’s not bad, but it’s a major hassle for everyone involved, not to mention expensive, to order a creme base Frap and then ask for none of whatever syrup is supposed to be in there and add two other syrups and a drizzle. Plus, I want coffee. So, this is my version of Starbucks Butterbeer containing the same syrups but with coffee, and without revealing the existence of our world.
Notes and Review: The toffee nut syrup is just right, but caramel is not the same as butterscotch and adding a complementary syrup doesn’t change that. It’s not the coffee either, because I thought the same thing about the creme version. That said, this drink is sweet and buttery AND it has caffeine. Definitely magical.
Verdict: Not really butterbeer but butterbeer-adjacent in flavor. I would order again. Rating based on two factors: a) that this is really good and has coffee and b) that if you’re looking for accurate butterbeer flavor this isn’t it.